Trails Improvement Project: Beaver Meadow Bridge
In the early spring of 2020, the Friends of the Dyken Pond Center purchased the Balsam Tract – 37 acres of land with expanses of pristine large tree woodland habitat and wetlands adjoining existing Friends’ property at the Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center. With the breaking of spring the following year, the Friends volunteers were busy mapping out and clearing a new trail through the property to connect with the established Long Trail, which winds through a large portion of the Center. A deteriorating abandoned beaver dam in the wetlands stood as an obstacle to connecting the two trails.
Twenty-five volunteers, assembled of Friends’ members and the volunteer team from the joint Rensselaer Land Trust/Rensselaer Plateau Alliance Trails Crew, answered the call to help construct what was to be our most ambitious project yet. During the last weekend of June, lumber and rock were hauled to the job site as far as possible by utility vehicle and the remainder by people power, a distance of slightly over a quarter-mile. Over a sweltering five days, the enthusiastic ‘Bridge Crew’ maintained a positive focus and good humor while determinedly constructing a 160’ boardwalk and bridge to connect the Balsam Trail to the Long Trail.
The addition of the newly named Beaver Meadow Bridge has elicited positive feedback from hikers and visitors to the Dyken Pond Center, which continues to see a tremendous increase in the number of people seeking outdoor activities. The numerous trails allow visitors to happen upon wetlands, streams, lakes, and forests. Come out to the Center and walk the new trail and take in the woodland scents and scenery.
The Board of the non-profit Friends of the Dyken Pond Center extends our gratitude to those who contributed so much time and hard work completing the Beaver Meadow Bridge project. Our thanks to Gundrum Lumber for their generous donation of mulch to fill rocky sections of the trail leading to the new boardwalk. What a gratifying collaboration on a lasting improvement to the 11-mile network of trails to explore and enjoy at the Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center. To learn more about the programs and recreational activities at the Center, visit dykenpond.org or phone 518 658-2055.